How Roy Cooper and a Horse Named Pat Helped Launch Joe Beaver’s Career

Tie-down roper Joe Beaver would not have won eight PRCA World Championships had it not been for a call from Roy Cooper in 1984.

Cooper, who was fresh off an All-Around World Championship in 1983, offered to pay for Beaver’s fees and fuel if he competed in Cooper’s match roping. Beaver accepted before he even found who he was roping, which turned out to be NFR qualifier Mike Johnson.

“If I was going to actually get to something and not have to have (anything) come out of my pocket, I didn’t care,” Beaver said.

The next year, he ran into Cooper at a match roping in Rockdale, Texas and Cooper encouraged Beaver to fill his permit and hit the road full time.

After some initial skepticism he decided to go for it after receiving encouragement from his mom and girlfriend Jenna, who would later become his wife.

It proved to be the right decision as Beaver won the his first career professional rodeo with an 8.3 second run in Wichita, Kansas.

“I can remember calling home and I told my mom ‘I was 8.3, I think I won the thing’ and she said ‘was it that easy?’ and I said ‘I don’t know it must’ve been,’” Beaver said.

Winning became commonplace for Joe Beaver after that as he won not only Rookie of the Year in 1985, but also the PRCA Tie-Down Roping World Championships. We wouldn’t have got it done, however, without his first good horse, Pat.

Despite the horse being crippled and everyone knowing it, Beaver won multiple World Titles on Pat and Pat was Horse of the Year in 1987.

“I bought him because Calvin Greely told me to buy him, he said ‘that horse is as good as you’ll ever ride,” Beaver said. “I gave $10,000 for that horse in 1985 and he wouldn’t pass a vet check today or then and he was 12-years-old. That’s a big step for a 19-year-old kid, but Calvin Greely told me, ‘you buy him and it’ll make you famous,’ and he did.’”

You can see Joe Beaver’s full life story on The Cowboy Channel Legends on The Cowboy Channel+.

Meet the NFR Athletes is Presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athlete is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths
Meet the NFR Athletes is presented by Montana Silversmiths